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You’re never too old to work out! Personal trainer brings fitness classes to care home

PUBLISHED: 16:52 18 January 2019 | UPDATED: 16:52 18 January 2019

Eddie Willett holding exercise classes with residents at Hadleigh Nursing Home. Picture: KINGSLEY HEALTHCARE

Eddie Willett holding exercise classes with residents at Hadleigh Nursing Home. Picture: KINGSLEY HEALTHCARE

Some might see a tough morning workout as a young person’s game - but one personal trainer has proved that you’re never too old to benefit from exercise by running thriving fitness classes aimed at pensioners in care homes.

Eddie Willett holding exercise classes with residents at Hadleigh Nursing Home. Picture: KINGSLEY HEALTHCAREEddie Willett holding exercise classes with residents at Hadleigh Nursing Home. Picture: KINGSLEY HEALTHCARE

Former carer Eddie Willett, who became a personal trainer and later launched Ascension Fitness, runs fortnightly morning workouts at Hadleigh Nursing Home.

Clair Perks, activities coordinator at the facility in Friars Road, Hadleigh, believes Mr Willett’s routines are “the perfect way to get people ready for lunchtime and the rest of the day”.

Mr Willett, of Bury St Edmunds, who started his sessions at the Kingsley Healthcare-run home two months ago, said: “I was a carer for more than five years until I did a diploma to become a personal trainer and launched my mobile businesses Ascension Fitness.

“It was about two years ago that I developed a niche business putting on classes in care homes and I now visit more than 15 homes a week across East Anglia.”

The 31-year-old said there was a lot of research to show that exercise was beneficial for people living with dementia, possibly slowing down mental decline as well as improving mobility, lifting mood and raising self-confidence.

“The smiles I get show that people are really enjoying the opportunity to move to music. It’s definitely making a difference to them.

“And staff at the homes I visit say residents talk about me ahead of my visits, which is really nice,” he said.

Mr Willett, who has run similar sessions at Spring Lodge care home, in Woolverstone, near Ipswich, said he always started with stretches to warm up and finished off each 30min session with a warm-down.

He said: “We concentrate on chair-based exercises so everyone can take part. We do exercises to move both the arms and legs as well as a little bit of cardiovascular.”

Ms Perks said: “Our residents love it and are excited when I tell them he is coming. He really makes it fun, it’s not just boring exercise. For example, when he plays YMCA he gets them to do all the gestures.

“As well as benefiting from the exercise it really helps to lift their mood.”


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